Shop local without ever leaving your home with our list of great Ohio-developed gifts
Holiday shopping is stressful every year, let alone in a pandemic. You want to avoid the stores, but you also want to support businesses in your communities. Gift cards are impersonal and no one remembers a generic electronic.
TechOhio is here to help!
From around the state, Ohio innovators are creating amazing products that just happen to be great gifts. We’ve compiled our annual guide below, with gifts for everyone on your list.
We’ve got a lot, but of course we can’t find them all, so help us add to our list by reaching out on our social media channels.
Happy holidays from TechOhio!
Avid runners don’t need much gear — only need some shoes and a water bottle, right? Think again. Central Ohio’s Noxgear is developing a new generation of tech that’s bringing running into the 21st century, with glowing vests for night running and a next-gen Bluetooth speaker.
For a gift that will keep on giving, check out the conservationists at Osmia Bee Company. With their bee house kits and step-by-step instructions to create your very own habitat for our pollinating friends, an Osmia Bee gift means you’ll be giving someone on your list a whole new hobby. Plus, building the bee houses is an excellent way to spend some time together.
We could all use an extra bit of cleanliness this year, and Nature’s Magic might just have the best way to disinfect. The Athens startup has developed a whole line of plant-based cleaning products that are non-toxic, using essential oils instead of ingredients created in a lab. Pick up some cleaner for the parents, teachers and environmentalists in your life.
Sparkling beverages are all the rage, and why not shop local for the seltzer fan on your list? Spritz launched last year as a zero-calorie, zero-sugar, vegan and keto-friendly drink produced in central Ohio. With flavors like bright citrus, golden peach, wild acai and pink guava, there’s something for everyone.
We all have those people on our holiday lists who say they don’t need anything — they have everything they want! If you’re scrambling for a less-than-tangible gift, why not set up a fundraising event for their favorite charity with GiveGame? The platform turns charitable giving into a fantasy sports-style competition that you can customize for that person who’s impossible to shop for.
If you have someone on your list who could use a bit more home furnishing, check out the small-town charm of Dresden & Company. This retailer based in Dresden, outside of Zanesville, produces handcrafted baskets and other unique home accessories that will add a unique touch to any home.
Do you have a cycling enthusiast on your list who seems to have all the equipment they could ever want? Be sure they know about Edge Cycling Technologies and their record-breaking PhysioSaddle seat, which is not only more comfortable and designed with our anatomy in mind, but also helped set a Guinness world record for speed.
Sometimes, a delicious treat is the best gift. And at SugarBot Bakery, those delicious treats look a bit different. SugarBot is a spinoff of BeeHex, which uses NASA tech to modernize food prep. Now, they’re using that tech to create customizable baked goods that are created in a process that looks like 3D printing. With SugarBot, you’re guaranteed a unique gift.
For the coffee lover in your life, consider a subscription to Cleveland’s Cafilia. The platform supports independent coffee shops by putting them all together on one subscription. You choose a number of coffees per month and get a special mug so the coffee enthusiast on your list can start saving and supporting.
It can be difficult to find a children’s toy that stands out from the crowd, but Cincinnati startup Dibzy is here to help. Dibzy serves as a miniature accelerator for great toy ideas, and their Innovation Network is full of great ideas that have come from the minds at Dibzy.
Don’t forget your four-legged friend this holiday season. Bark, who recently added a Columbus office, creates toys, treats and experiences for dogs and their owners. Everyone loves subscription boxes, even your pups, so treat them this season too.
If you have a new parent on your list, check out Cincinnati retailer Hutch Baby. Social distancing might have you feeling disconnected from the little ones you haven’t been able to visit, but Hutch Baby makes unique and memorable gifts that show you care.
Have an aspiring athlete in your life? Don’t just buy them some gear, help them hone their skills with Apex Sports. The Cincinnati startup gives athletes access to lessons from the greats. Their online platform that provides videos that break down position-specific plays, give mental tips and more.
Toys aren’t always representative of all of us, but Healthy Roots is changing that. Cincinnati entrepreneur Yelitsa Jean-Charles was inspired to create a toy company that celebrates black women and helps young girls navigate and learn about their natural hair. If you know a girl who wishes she had a doll that looked more like her, Healthy Roots has just the solution.
At The Toasted Oat, they believe gluten-free snacks can be just as delicious as their traditional counterparts. Created after founder Erika Boll was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the Columbus startup makes bags of soft-baked granola with flavors like cherry streusel and blueberry cobbler that Boll describes as a “deconstructed cookie.”
Typically, you have to choose between fashion and performance. But at Cincinnati startup Jumper Threads, you can have both! They’re re-thinking the essentials by incorporating innovative textiles into their undershirts, socks, outerwear and more, allowing better movement and breathability.
We could all use a break from passwords, and Everykey can help. The Cleveland startup has developed a Bluetooth device that replaces keys and passwords, enabling users to automatically unlock their devices, doors, vehicles and password-protected websites when they are in close proximity.
For all the spice lovers out there, check out Mutt’s Sauce. This unique, Ohio-born condiment, named for the founder’s grandfather, Mutt, is the perfect gift for supporting local while treating your tastebuds to something exotic.